Important Cultural Property
2 folding books (60 pictures)
Southern Song-Ming period/13-17th century
Tokyo National Museum
"Hikkoen" seems to be a tekagami (a book of models and examples) comprising Chinese paintings shipped to Japan after the Muromachi period. It contains over 60 paintings that vary in theme, technique and style and the name of the painter was identified and affixed to each painting.
The number of authenticated painters amounts to 49, which includes many painters of the Son and Yuan periods and some painters and works of the Ming period. It can be said, therefore, that the collection and authentication of works in this book reflect chronological changes in Chinese paintings shipped to Japan from the medieval period to the modern period. Although the authentication results attached to the works should not be readily trusted, this book contains valuable information that deserves high recognition as a tekagami, such as hard-to-obtain paintings like the landscape paintings of Kakei, a renowned painter of the Southern Song, other high quality paintings and paintings with signatures and seals. Kanga (painting styles developed in Japan under the influence of Chinese painting), a big trend in the painting history of Japan after the Muromachi period, developed by modeling after Chinese paintings shipped to Japan. This book is a valuable historical material that shows how Chinese paintings were received in Japan.